Physician and berry enthusiast Sveinn Rúnar Hauksson examined blooming blueberry and crowberry heather last weekend and concluded that Icelanders are in for another early and plentiful berry season. Berry picking is turning into a mid-summer activity.
Blueberries. Photo by Bernhild Vögel.
“I have rarely seen as many buds [on the berry bushes] as now,” Hauksson told Morgunbladid. “Many of the buds have already turned into bright red berries which hopefully will grow into fat blueberries. […] In Borgarfjördur there was a heap of tiny green berries on the crowberry heather.”
Hauksson said the berry season is starting earlier and earlier each summer, even in late July. In the past berries were usually picked at the end of August or beginning of September.
He expects more people to take advantage of this free natural resource this year because of the financial crisis. “I have always hoped people would make better use of this gift of nature. The berries are a source of joy and delicious meals. […] There is enough for everyone,” Hauksson said.
Hauksson is also hoping that berries can prove inspiration for innovation. “Some people have produced Icelandic wine from blueberries which is said to be good and the nectar is always delicious. I brought thick delicious blueberry nectar to my friends in Palestine the last time I was there. They loved it.”
Hauksson added that, as a physician, he recommends eating blueberries because they are extremely healthy.
Click here to watch an audio slideshow about berry picking in Iceland.